Head outdoors to nature.

We all need the outdoors. Nature calms our soul and reminds us of our place in the world. These are gloomy times we are living in, and isolation and anxiety have an impact on our human spirit. But when we walk in a forest and see a spider busily spinning its intricate web, it reminds us that life in the natural world is proceeding as usual. And things are suddenly not as out of control as they seem.

In our family, we have made outdoor time a discipline. We head out in the mornings or evenings when it is cooler, even on days when we don’t feel like doing so. We are thankful to live by the beach and the park, and this is where we go. There are many small pockets of nature all over Singapore where one can go and still be socially responsible. Germs die when exposed to the sun!

Some tips for outdoor time:

1. Leave it unstructured. The kids will surprise you with what they initiate without adult interference. The other day, our boys made a catapult cum indoor gym with driftwood they collected from the shore. 

2. Learn to slow down. It is easy to continue with the fast pace we have been used to, but now on our devices, with the daily updates on the COVID-19 situation. Slowing down is good for our souls. Watch nature going about its tasks. Our kids will appreciate us for it too. 

3. Let nature speak to you. There are many lessons we can learn from nature. It does not hurry, it is not anxious, there is much intelligence in its design. Have conversations with the kids about what they notice. Our family keeps a nature journal where the kids sometimes sketch what they see on our walks, or scribble down their observations of the wildlife they have seen. 

4. Learn the names of local flora and fauna. Naming the creatures and plants that we see gives us a sense of place and a familiarity with our surroundings. It grounds us. I am quite proud of the fact that we can now recognise an olive-backed sunbird or an Asian glossy starling, where previously they were all just “birds”!

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu


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Blogger at Parenting on Purpose (http://parenting-on-purpose.blogspot.com)